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NavSource Online:
Gunboat Photo Archive

Topeka (IX 35)
ex-Topeka (PG 35)

Navy call sign (Early 1919):
George - Jig - Boy - Tare

Call sign (1921):
Nan - Love - Yoke


Call sign (1912):
Nan - Unit - Oboe

Patrol Gunboat:

  • Laid down in 1881 as Diogenes by George Howaldt, Kiel, Germany for the Peruvian Government, but not delivered
  • Sold to the Thames Iron Works of London, England
  • Sold to Japan in 1895 but not delivered
  • Acquired by the U.S. Navy, renamed Topeka and commissioned USS Topeka 2 April 1898
  • Converted to a Gunboat at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, NY
  • Decommissioned 15 February 1899 at the Boston Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned for training, 15 Aug 1900
  • Decommissioned 7 September 1905 at Portsmouth, NH
  • Recommissioned 14 June 1916
  • Decommissioned 14 September 1916 at New York
  • Recommissioned 24 March 1919 at Boston, MA
  • Decommissioned 21 November 1919 at Charleston, SC
  • Reclassified as a Patrol Gunboat, PG-35, 17 July 1920
  • Reclassified as an Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary, IX-35, 1 July 1921
  • Recommissioned 2 July 1923
  • Decommissioned 2 December 1929
  • Struck from the Navy list 2 January 1930
  • Sold for scrap 2 January 1930 to the Union Shipbuilding Co. of Baltimore, MD.


  • Displacement 2,255 t.
  • Length 259' 4"
  • Beam 35'
  • Draft 19' 5"
    1921 - 17' 8"
  • Speed 16 kts.
  • Complement 167
  • Armament: Six 4" rapid fire mounts, six rapid fire 3-pounders, two rapid fire 1-pounders, and one .30 cal. Colt machine gun
  • Propulsion: Two cylinderical boilers, two 1,000ihp horizontal compound engines, two shafts
    1921 - Two Ward boilers and two 1,000ihp DeLaval geared turbines.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Topeka 105k Off the New York Navy Yard, 1898
    Courtesy of Howard I. Chapelle, Smithsonian Institution
    U.S. Navy photo NH 806
    Naval Historical Center
    Topeka 59k Original photo: At anchor in 1898
    U.S. Navy photo NH 60333
    Replacement photo: Library of Congress photo LC-D4-21022 from the Detroit Photographic Co.
    Original photo: Naval Historical Center
    Replacement photo: Mike Green
    Topeka 96k Off the New York Navy Yard, 1898. The receiving ship USS Vermont is visible at right, beyond Topeka's bow
    U.S. Navy photo NH 63371
    Naval Historical Center
    Topeka 57k Halftone of a photograph taken in 1898, at the time of the Spanish-American War
    Copied from "The New Navy of the United States," by N.L. Stebbins, New York, 1912)
    Donation of David Shadell, 1987
    U.S. Navy photo NH 98239
    Topeka 131k At Algiers, Algeria, circa late 1900.
    Photographed by J. Geiser, Algiers.
    The original photograph is printed on silk.
    Collection of Rear Admiral William C. Braisted, USN(MC)
    Courtesy of Dr. William R. Braisted
    U.S. Navy photo NH 91532
    Topeka 131k Photograph copyrighted by Enrique Muller, 1905. It shows Topeka at anchor in Long Island Sound, New York, circa 1904. Ships present in the background include USS Prairie (left) and a torpedo-boat destroyer (right)
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 63653-A
    Robert Hurst
    Topeka 98k Color-tinted postcard of a photograph (above) copyrighted by Enrique Muller, 1905. It shows Topeka at anchor in Long Island Sound, New York, circa 1904. Ships present in the background include USS Prairie (left) and a torpedo-boat destroyer (right)
    U.S. Navy photo NH 63653-B-KN
    Naval Historical Center
    Topeka 374k Starboard view, while serving as a detention ship at Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire, 1915
    Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels Collection Lots 5369-5 and 5369-7 from National Museum of the U.S. Navy
    Michael Mohl
    Topeka 310k
    Topeka 134k Photo caption: WARSHIP AS PRIZEFIGHT GRANDSTAND
    Hundreds of Sailors on the Topeka, at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard, cheering a boxing match in progress on the wharf
    © International Film Service photo from the 22 July 1917 edition of the New York Times
    Topeka 165k Moored at a Walnut Street dock at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 4 June 1924
    Photo from Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, George D. McDowell Collection
    Original photo: Mike Green
    Replacement photo: David Wright
    Topeka 130k 25 June 1925
    Philadelphia Navy Yard
    Photo P564278B from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, George D. McDowell Collection
    Mike Green

    Commanding Officers
    01LT John Joseph Knapp, USN - USNA Class of 18782 April 1898 - 1898
    02CDR William Sheffield Cowles, USN - USNA Class of 18671898 - 15 February 1899
    03CDR Francis Henry Delano, USN - USNA Class of 1867
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    15 August 1900 - 5 September 1901
    04CDR John Augustine Heard Nickles, USN5 September 1901 - 20 November 1903
    05CDR Frank Adams Wilner, USN - USNA Class of 187320 November 1903
    06Chief Boatswain William Lowell Hill, USN - Awarded the Medal of Honor (1881)1904
    07CDR Earl Peck Finney, USN - USNA Class of 190224 March 1919 - 10 July 1919
    08CAPT Stephen Victor Graham, USN - USNA Class of 1894
    Awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (1917) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    10 July 1919
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo, Wolfgang Hechler and Joe Radigan

    View Topeka (PG-35) Library of Congress Images
    View the Topeka (PG 35) DANFS History
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Patrol Gunboat (PG) Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back to the Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary Ship (IX) Photo Index

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